Founded in conjunction with the National Y.E.S. program, the State Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) program is open to all high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors interested in learning more about their state government and the roles their generation of voters will play. A special emphasis is also placed on the benefits of firearms ownership. States that currently host their own state Y.E.S. programs are North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia and Virginia. Students from these states must attend their state Y.E.S. before attending the National Y.E.S. program, and, in most cases, students participating in these state programs can earn a spot in the National Y.E.S. as an award for being the top state student.
The Alaska Youth Education Summit typically takes place in March or April.
Still have questions about the Y.E.S. state summit programs? Explore the frequently asked questions below.
What are the goals of State Y.E.S.?
The main goals of this program are to give these students the opportunity to develop an awareness and desire to participate in all levels of government, learn about their state's unique heritage and history, and obtain a better understanding of volunteer organizations and how young citizens can become involved in serving their communities.
What happens at the state summits?
Students spend four days in the state capital visiting with legislative and political leaders and learning about their state's history by touring museums and historical sites. In addition, students are introduced to various career opportunities relating directly or indirectly to their interest in firearms, such as law enforcement or military service. Careers in wildlife and conservation are also included within this scope. Students also practice their public speaking and debate skills through carefully designed group exercises.
How is a State Y.E.S. funded?
Funding for the program comes primarily through grants from each state's State Fund Committee. Funding may also be secured through state associations, local businesses and other sponsors or donors. The end result is that students attend Y.E.S. free of charge, though they are required to cover their own transportation costs to and from the program.
Why should you get involved?
The program teaches valuable leadership skills and promotes students to become involved as active citizens in their local community. State Y.E.S. allows more students to participate, thereby creating a larger grassroots base. Instead of reaching just forty students each year at the national level, multiple State Y.E.S. programs throughout the year could potentially reach hundreds or more annually.
How do you get involved?
First, touch base with your NRA field representative and let them know that you are interested in starting a State Y.E.S. in your area. Next, contact NRA Headquarters for an informational press kit, which includes materials to help you get started. You can also download the Volunteer's Guide to Starting a State Youth Education Summit. Follow the instructions in the guide to secure funding and schedule a summit in your state.
Y.E.S. State Summit Volunteers
As Alaska, North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia have watched their state Youth Education Summits (Y.E.S.) flourish into creative learning environments for outstanding students in their states, other states have struggled or not even considered starting their own Y.E.S. Why? Various reasons can hinder start-ups—not enough volunteers, funding, or time being the main culprits. We are here to tell you that starting a state Y.E.S. can be done and is worth the time and commitment involved in organizing one!
State volunteer Y.E.S. organizers, along with NRA Field Representatives, can attest to the immense impact a state Y.E.S. has on their students and communities. Not only are they teaching today’s youth about the history and mission of the NRA, but also cultivating communication and leadership skills that students will carry with them for the rest of their lives. In addition, students are provided the opportunity to develop an awareness of and desire to learn about their state’s unique heritage and history, and to understand how young citizens can become involved in serving their communities. If you find you are interested in this mission and are willing to implement a Y.E.S. program in your state capital, you are on the path to starting a state Y.E.S. Here are some bullet points on how to accomplish that goal:
Recruit Volunteers Although planning a state Y.E.S. program is possible with one person, it will be much more successful with several volunteers who can share the work load.
Secure Funding First-year state Y.E.S. programs need to have a sponsoring organization. The national Y.E.S. organizer at NRA Headquarters submits a state Y.E.S. grant to each State Fund Committee (SFC). Once the SFC approves the grant and it is processed through The NRA Foundation, the sponsoring organization will receive the funds and the state Y.E.S. organizers will have access to the money they need to support the program.
Create An Itinerary State summits last three to four days and include activities such as state capitol tours, museum tours and student speeches and debates.
Select Students National Y.E.S. can provide you with the application process to get started on selecting a qualified group of 3-10 students.